ALRTA News – 20 May 2022




Saturday, 21 May 2022, is the last date to cast your vote in the 2022 Federal Election.  While polls have forecast a Labor victory for the entirety of the formal election campaign, the situation has tightened over the past week with a close result now predicted.
We must remember of course that polls can be wrong, as demonstrated in the 2019 results.
Like last election, it is also possible that the result will be determined by a handful of marginal seats in rural and regional areas. That’s why your vote counts and could make all the difference.
ALRTA is an apolitical industry association. Your vote is your choice.
However, to assist our members in considering the policy offerings of the major parties, ALRTA provides a summary of key policies relevant to rural road transport (table below). There are of course many other issues that may be personally important to you and so we recommend that you consider the full policy platforms of each party which are available here:
Liberal Party
Labor Party
After the Federal Election result is known, ALRTA will continue to work with the incoming Federal government to progress the issues of highest importance to our members.

Transport & Infrastructure$120b 10-year infrastructure plan.Supports inland rail.Investing in Northern Australia.Underspent on rest areas.No specific road commitment.Supports inland rail.$80m for rest areas.$400m for regional mobile phone connectivity.
Owner DriversOpposed to regulation of pay and conditions for owner drivers.Will mandate pay and conditions for owner drivers via Fair Work Commission.Will mandate 30-day payments for small business.
Animal WelfareWill continue live sheep exports with conditions.Will ban live sheep exports.Will establish an independent Inspector-General of Animal Welfare.
Current FuelsIntervened to ensure short-term AdBlue supply – further commitment is uncertain.Halved fuel excise over short term but failed to reinstate the Fuel Tax Credit.Will continue Coalition policy over short-term.
Future Fuels$250m future fuels fund providing electric charging infrastructure and hydrogen capacity on key routes.Will exempt electric vehicles from import tariffs and FBT.
Skills & WorkforceSupports 2-year Truck Driver Apprenticeship.Reviewing Priority Skills Migration List.Will establish a new body ‘Jobs and Skills Australia’ to match skills training with workforce demands.
Taxation & cost of livingCommitted to stage 3 income tax cuts.One-off $420 offset.Extended instant asset write-off and loss-carry back measures.Committed to stage 3 income tax cuts.Supports $420 offset.
WagesSupports Fair Work Commission decisions.Calling for 5.1% increase in minimum wage.
Budget Impacts Budget deficit $8.4b higher.


Industry and Government stakeholders came together again this week to consider more advanced policy proposals for improving the Heavy Vehicle National Law. 
While it is fair to say that some progress has been made following a similar meeting of stakeholders last month, the process necessarily involves a level of horse trading and it is unlikely that, from and industry perspective, an ideal new law will be delivered.  We are however confident that some of the worst excessive demands of state governments and regulators can be prevented.
Ministers will consider high-level policy proposals in September 2022.


Several of our industry representatives participated in consultation on proposed new National Service Level Standards Framework for Australian roads.  The new standards will assist in classifying roads and measuring their performance to support expenditure oversight and future investment decisions. 
Our representatives included LRTAV President, Russell Borchard; LRTAWA CEO, Jan Cooper, and ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro.
While we are generally supportive of the initiative, our representatives raised concerns about the specific metrics chosen to support road access decisions and the possibility that published assessments might negatively affect current access approvals (acknowledging that the assessment might also positively impact future access decisions).
The Australian Road Research Board and consultant Aurecon will take stakeholder feedback on board and continue to refine the framework and investigate data sources.


The Victorian Parliament has passed a motion supporting the creation of a new tribunal to set pay and conditions for owner drivers. While supported in principle, the Victorian Government has previously ceded power on industrial relations matters to the Commonwealth and so technically does not have the necessary head of power to create the tribunal.
However, it is clear Federal Labor policy to re-establish a body to set pay and conditions for owner drivers. Should Labor win the Federal Election tomorrow, the Victorian decision may become a moot point. If Federal Labor do not win, we may see a more complicated regulatory environment with the eventual establishment of a new body in Victoria that sets new rules in that state (which may have implications for owner drivers from other states that operate in Victoria). Watch this space.


A 2 day webinar focused on ‘Foreign animal disease and outbreak preparedness’ was held this week as part of an Australian Seminar Series hosted by the Davis-Thomson Foundation (a group dedicated to furthering the international advancement of education in veterinary and comparative pathology) and Australia’s CSIRO. Experts with extensive experience in diagnosing and responding to outbreaks of emerging and highly contagious animal disease talked about:

  • Newcastle disease virus
  • Avian Flu
  • African Horse Sickness
  • Rift Valley Fever (affects cattle, sheep, goats, camels, buffalo, antelope, wildebeests and several rodents)
  • Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) and Rinderpest
  • African Swine Fever
  • Classical Swine Fever
  • Henipavirus (spread to horses by Pteropus bats)
  • Leishmania (affects dogs)

Australian experts, including the researchers from the Wildlife Health Conservation Research Program of Taronga and the CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, talked about their diagnostic capability and services which were utilised, for example, during the 2020 outbreak of Avian Influenza in Australia and the WHO field work response to an outbreak of Henipavirus in the Philippines.
The critical importance of notification and early identification enabling a rapid response to biosecurity threats, especially zoonotic diseases, was emphasized.

 The PPR virus is spreading including via people’s shoes and clothing!


Bristow Legal is conducting a training session on Avoiding General Protections Claims to be held online at 1pm AEST, Wednesday, 1 June 2022.
General Protections Claims—what you need to know and why

  • Claims have a ‘reverse onus’; the employer is presumed to have breached the Fair Work Act unless they can prove otherwise (unlike unfair dismissals where the employee must prove their case).
  • There is no cap on compensation payments (unfair dismissals are capped at 6 months pay).
  • Compensation can include factors beyond lost wages (e.g. ‘pain and suffering’).
  • Not only employees and ex-employees, but others such as job applicants can make claims.
  • Breaches of the protections can lead to civil penalties (fines).

Topics we will examine include:

  • Dismissal and Non-dismissal Claims
  • What the protections are
  • General Protections and discrimination laws
  • How GP claims differ from Unfair Dismissal claims
  • The ‘reverse onus’ and the implications for managers
  • Avoiding GP claims

Who should attend?
Anyone who has managerial responsibility especially those with the authority to dismiss employees needs to understand how General Protections claims can arise and how to manage them. Topics examined will be of particular interest to:

  • Directors and managers
  • HR managers and team members
  • Advisors to businesses in the transport and logistics industry

Tickets cost $104.50 are being issued through Eventbrite – you can register using this link:


Registrations for the LBRCA annual conference being held in Wagga Wagga on 26-28 May 2022 are closing today.

The event will bring together key industry stakeholders to tackle the key issues affecting members in the State.  With our theme for 2022 ‘Cutting Red Tape’, sessions will be relevant, interactive and outcomes based.

Key sessions and topics include:

  • Keynote | The State of Freight
  • Tackling driver shortages in regional NSW
  • Grain Harvest and Livestock Loading Scheme harmonisation
  • Chain of Responsibility: Is it working in rural trucking?
  • The What When How? Of the NHVR in NSW
  • The future of road freight in NSW
  • Safety in rural trucking
  • Farm Gate and general access forum
  • Bulk and livestock break-out sessions.

 Social events include Cannon Trailers Friday afternoon happy hour, Freightliner Friday night dinner, clay target shooting and the showcase Blue Ribbon Sponsor Gala Dinner and Industry Auction.

More information on the conference including social events, the partners program itinerary, accommodation options and a registration form can be found here.


LBRCA (NSW) -26 -28 May 2022 – Wagga Wagga NSW – Information & Registration
LRTASA  (SA) -17-18 June 2022 – Adelaide SA – Registration
LRTAWA (WA) – 6 August 2022 – Industry Day – Burswood on Swan – Perth WA
ALRTA/LRTAV National Combined Conference -12-13 August 2022 – All Seasons Bendigo VIC – Information